Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Secret shoppers--Glorified spies?

Ever thought it would be neat to do some "secret shopping"?

You might re-think this after reading a piece from "Shameless" magazine.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lancaster, S.C., blogger gets lots of traffic

This blogging thing still fascinates me--how far it reaches, how much of an impact it can have.

Case in point: Stephen McCaskill, 37, lives in Lancaster, S.C., and has been blogging about crime (especially unsolved crimes) for two years.

His blog site address: http://www.crimesceneblog.com

He's helping law enforcement put the clamps down on fugitives from justice.

With the Internet there's no place to hide anymore.

Because Stephen blogs about it, and about 25,000 people each month visit his site.

Check it out.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My dog, Roadie, got published

Some publications still like to run pictures of dogs. Click on the above link.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A new kind of Internet

Okay, I’ve been blogging recently about Web 2.0 (from the book “Web 2.0,” by Mark Briggs.

But what do we mean by Web 2.0?

Think of it this way: Web 1.0 was the original, for all practical purposes read-only old Net—with home pages and lots of limitation.

Web 2.0 is much more open and powerful, with “open-source software allowing users control and flexibility.”

That means users (folks like you who are now reading this posting on the Net) cannot only read; you can change what you read, add to what you read with your opinion or comment…

Examples of Web 2.0: Wikipedia, MySpace (most popular Web site on the planet), YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Flikr (where you can upload and share photos), blogger.com, delicious.com (a Web site with your favorite bookmarks—organized just as you like)

So Web 2.0 is about open back and forth communication—between posters and users, between users and users (you get the idea).

It’s about conversation, not lecture (as was the case with Web 1.0).

Meaning of all this for readers?

We’re no longer only RECEIVERS of messages on the Internet; we can CREATE and SHARE messages.

News and other kinds of messages are conversation, not lecture.

Enough for now. More later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Okay, here's my story about Michael Vick

I guess I just love dogs so much that I had to write my own story about embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael (I hanged, beat, tortured, electrocuted and drowned) dogs.

The photo shows me with my beloved sheltie, Roadie.

Read what I wrote on the S.C. Press Association Web site (by clicking on above link.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Using the Web to find a crashed pilot & his plane

If you have some time on your hands (and even if you don't but want to explore something cool with the Web) try using something called Amazon's Mechanical Turk (on the Web) to help find Steve Fossett, the millionaire pilot who mysteriously disappeared, along with his airplane, in/over Nevada on Sept. 3.

Did he crash? Is he hiding out at some young woman's farm house? Was he so entranced by the desert scenery that he couldn't concentrate on flying? Did a UFO accost him?

Use AMT and Google Earth to help scour the terrain and locate him.

(See above link on how to do this.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Happy birthday, cloggers, oops I mean bloggers!

There are so many bloggers today that the blogosphere might be turning into what some call the blogorrhea.

Blogging is 10 years old this year.

Happy birthday, clogging (oops--I mean blogging.)

Blog away, baby!

And many more happy birthdays.

Read about how blogging started and what it's doing today (surprise: it's helping change our culture!) in the link above.

FTP those huge files...

More stuff from “Journalism 2.0”:

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Want to transfer a huge PDF, digital audio or video, or PowerPoint file?

E-mail, with the exception of Gmail, has a tough time handling files bigger than 1MG.

Solution: Go with a free FTP program (FireZilla, Coffee Cup or Ace if you’re working on a Windows platform; Fetch, Cute FTP or Cyberduck if you have a Mac.)

If Firefox is your browser, download FireFTP plug in so that you have FTP capability.

What you will need to send a big file: the account info. of the server where you want to send the file. If you want to upload a large file to your Web server, get the account info. from your Web staff.

It will appear as:

Account name: Newspaper FTP (this is optional—you create it for yourself)
Host: ftp.newspaper.com
Login: crazyfiles
Password: !secretstuff%

Most FTP programs save the info. the first time you enter it so you can easily return and send more files with 1 or 2 clicks.

Setup for most FTP programs—folder layout on the left side of the interface reflects file structure of your computer; folder layout on right side shows file structure of FTP server.

Go to the folder where you want to copy the target file (if that folder is not already visible), then find the file in your file structure, click and drag it across.

That’s about it for FTP—easy as 1, 2, 3!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

About getting info. fed to you...

TTT#3—from “Journalism 2.0”

A cool Web site to access and get registered on is: www.delicious.com

What is “delicious”?

Think of it as a Web site to store all your favorite URLs.

Yes, you can bookmark your favorites on your home or office computer.

But what if you’re away from your computer? What if you’re working in Shanghai or Baghdad or Baguio (in the Philippines)?

Go to “delicious” and find your bookmarked sites—really a big time saver.

Yes, you can look your favorites up via Google, but why do that.

Enough about “delicious.”

Let’s switch to RSS feeds.

RSS=Really Simple Syndication. (And it’s free, to boot.)

Allows you to keep up with what several people or sources are saying about a particular topic.

Allows you to subscribe to info., and it’s similar to bookmarking a Web site but is much more powerful.

Instead of visiting several different Web sites each day or doing the same Web searches over and over, let an RSS feed do that for you.

Easy way to set up an RSS feed: www.google.com/ig

Sign up for an acct.

Select the info. you’d like to get automatically, and then arrange the feeds on your page the way you want them to appear. Move them around by clicking and dragging the boxes. Each time you return, the links will be updated automatically with the latest info. from those Web sites.

How to find a feed: Locate a link to RSS on the Web site with the content you want to be “fed” automatically. (Little orange icon will show the availability of RSS).

Click on the link to obtain the RSS URL (notice it in the address window of your browser.) Copy this URL into your acct. at www.google.com/ig

Be well fed with info. you’re interested in. Be fed while you snooze or play. Set up RSS feeds!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More geeky stuff from "Journalism 2.0"

The following info. is distilled/stolen from “Journalism 2.0” by Mark Briggs, assistant m.e. for Interactive News at The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.:

Web browsers—what they do:
Search and find info and bring it back to you

A copy of the pieces of a specific Web pg.—stored on your computer. Think of a cache as temporary storage of all files you download during your Web browsing.

Good idea to clear your cache often. Doing this deletes unneeded temporary files from your computer and helps your system run better.

Translation: A cluttered cache is sign of a cluttered mind (even maybe more cluttered than some of our offices.)

Managing your cache:

Firefox 2.0: To clear the cache, select Tools, then Clear Private Data. To limit size of the cache, select Tools, then Options and click on Network tab.

Safari: Click on Safaris in top menu; then select Empty Cache.

Internet Explorer 7: To clear the cache, select Tools, then Internet Options, then click the Advanced tab. Scroll to Security and check “Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed.”

Another tip:
Quick way to update/refresh a Web pg. you’re looking at is to hit the F5 key.

Finally, if you’re not using Firefox (free download) as your browser, you’re dragging behind the times. Lots of people are switching to it; by end of ’06, about one-third of Net users had Firefox as their browser (amazing considering that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is preloaded on all Windows machines.) But then, who on earth is using Windows or would want to?!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TTT#1 (about geeky digital stuff

TTT #1 (Timbs' Top Tip #1)--about Geeky digital stuff

I've been reading "Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and thrive--A Digital Literacy Guide for the Information Age," by Mark Briggs

From time to time, I'll share key points from that publication. Some of these you may already know; others will be a refresher on what you think you know.

Here's TTT #1:

1. The larger the file size, the longer it takes to download over the Net.

2. Bits and bytes (each byte has 8 bits) are key units of measure for digital info.

When we talk about bytes, remember:

Kilobyte is roughly 1,000 bytes

Megabyte is roughly 1 million bytes

Gigabyte is roughly 1 billion bytes

Terabyte is roughly 1 trillion bytes

Then we have a petabyte, which is the equivalent of 250 billion pages of text; or imagine a 2,000-mile-high tower of 1 billion diskettes!

Key point to remember: You should NEVER send an e-mail with an attachment larger than 1MB, or you will clog your server and the server of the person you are sending it to. Instead, burn such a large file on a disk or upload it to an FTP server (more about this later.)

Enough for now.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Brave journalist murdered in Russia

Her name was Anna Politkovskaya.

She wrote some true stuff.

She died a violent death (murder).

Now Russian prosecutors say they know who killed her.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More magic from 1967--Mammas & Pappas

The song is: "This Is Dedicated to the One I Love."

One of my favorites from the late 60s--from a great band!

Play this and dream of the late 60s

You're never heard of the Mommas and Pappas, or maybe you have?


Click on my favorite song of all time. Song I heard when I enlisted in the USAF (Vietnam War era).

Song that kept me wanting to return safely.

Great song!

Monday, September 3, 2007

ASU pulls off miracle win at Ann Arbor

This is what college football is all about.

ASU: 34

Michigan: 32